Skip to content

Health & Parenting

They’re back in school. Do you know what your tweens are really up to? A guide for parents.

Font Size
A
A
A

WebMD Feature from "Good Housekeeping" Magazine

Good Housekeeping Magazine Logo

 

 

 

Good Housekeeping Magazine

PHOTO BY LUCKYPIX/MASTERFILE

18% of eighth graders have experimented with marijuana at least once
Our source: a National Institute on Drug Abuse study. Also alarming is news that girls are now trying the drug more than boys are.

What you can do: Research shows that kids are 36 percent less likely to smoke marijuana if they learn about the risks from their parents, so talk to your child. And don't wait-experts say that some kids use drugs for the first time at age nine.

A good way to begin the dialogue: "Have you heard kids talking about drugs at school?" (Responding to a survey on goodhousekeeping.com, 45 percent of tweens said that some classmates sold drugs.)

Good Housekeeping Magazine

PHOTO BY BOTANICA/JUPITER IMAGES

48% of seventh graders admitted copying homework
Our source: a Rutgers University survey. Afraid your tween might be cheating?

What you can do: Don't address what your child did, say experts; address the possible motives.

One common reason kids copy: They don't really want to be dishonest, but they just don't understand the subject matter. If that's the case, go over the homework with your child every night, making sure she grasps the concepts. Another possible motive is that the child manages time poorly and then gets hopelessly behind.

The solution: Teach your tween how to organize and prioritize the workload.

40% spend their lunch money on junk food
Our source: GH's online survey. What you can do to help kids make smarter choices:
* Stock up on good-for-you snacks. The more kids eat healthy food at home, the more they'll seek it out in other settings.
* Limit TV time. Studies show there's a connection between how much television kids watch and how much junk they eat.
The good news: As of fall 2006, schools using the federal government's lunch program are required to create a policy to meet nutrition standards. And by 2010, sodas won't be sold in middle schools.

Good Housekeeping Magazine

PHOTO BY DYNAMIC GRAPHICS/JUPITER IMAGES

45% aren't thinking about school even when they're there
Our source: GH's online survey.

What they think about most when they're tuned out: Twenty percent are focused on after-school plans; 12 percent, on popularity; and 13 percent, on dating. One eighth grader from Florida confessed, "I usually space out and think about what might happen in my future."

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow